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Thursday, November 15, 2012

MORE BONBONS: Wine and Basketball

Some weeks ago I posted on a few international tidbits of entertainment interest, and for some reason, this particular blog became the most visited this year.  It probably had to do with the state of undress of the French First Lady, Valerie Trierweller, which was hardly risque.  Well, nothing particularly provocative this time, but here are a two items of interest for wine and basketball buffs:

1.  A bottle of wine in America holds 26 ounces of liquid.  In Europe, 750 milliliters, or 25.4 ounces.  Thus, you get more from a bottle in the USA.  According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

A standard drink is equal to 14.0 grams (0.6 ounces) of pure alcohol. Generally, this amount of pure alcohol is found in
  • 12-ounces of beer.
  • 8-ounces of malt liquor.
  • 5-ounces of wine.
  • 1.5-ounces or a “shot” of 80-proof distilled spirits or liquor (e.g., gin, rum, vodka, or whiskey).

Thus, you get about 5 glasses from a bottle.  The general recommendation is 2 glasses (or almost 40% the wine in a bottle) for men and one for women.  This doesn't seem fair, but there are physiological reasons.  One, females have a smaller amount of body water, and two, they have less efficient alcohol metabolizers in the stomach.  Clearly, though, if you are a large and obese person, you can drink more than a skinny small individual.  The two for men and one for women recommendation is a gross simplification merely for ease of remembrance.

Here are the sizes, with the figure below in the equivalent number of bottles:

To be more specific, the following provides the volume in liters:


  Split/Pony/Piccolo   0.19 (6.4 ounces)
  Magnum                  1.5
  Jeroboam                3
  Methuselah              6
  Nubuchadnezzar     15
  Sovereign               25
  Melchizedek           40
  Barrel                   119 (31.5 gallons)
  Tierce                  159 (42 gallons)
  Tun (a cask)         908 (240 gallons)
                          or 954 (252 gallons), depending on the source

Interesting that a barrel of oil is 42 gallons, which called a tierce in winedom.  Thus, a barrel of oil should really be called a tierce.  But, the 1858 success of Colonel Edwin Drake in Pennsylvania set in motion the common acceptance now of 42 gallons for a barrel of petroleum.

2.  This is a repeat of my Three Turkeys posting yesterday, with adjustments:

College basketball started last week.  The Rainbow Wahine (University of Hawaii women's team) opened their season at the University of San Francisco and got trounced.  This week they play Stanford on Saturday, then Baylor on Sunday.  Baylor was the national champion last year (they had a 40-0 record, the most wins for any NCAA basketball team in a year), returns 6'8" Brittney Griner, all five starters, and is rated #1.  They just beat the #7 team, Kentucky, 85-51.  Previously, they destroyed Lamar 80-34.  #2 Connecticut embarrassed College of Charleston 103-39.  Are you getting the drift of my fears?  Baylor plays #4 Stanford at 2:30 Friday afternoon at the Stan Sheriff Center on the Manoa Campus, followed by Hawaii - Tennessee-Martin (yes, not the real Tennessee, but, nevertheless, expected to win their Ohio Valley Conference) at 5PM, and Hawaii (we also have a men's team, and they're undefeated) - Illinois (they are also undefeated) at 7:30PM.

Am I attempting to suggest that we mercifully cancel those women games?  That might have been my original motivation for even mentioning this subject yesterday, but, I thought back to thirty years ago when the biggest upset in all of sports occurred in Honolulu.  Chaminade astounded then #1 Virginia, 77-72.  "Yes Virginia, there is a Chaminade."  The game ended on Christmas Eve day, Virginia time.  They had 7'4" center Ralph Sampson, who was to win his third straight national player of the year when the season ended.  To be fair, Sampson was recovering from pneumonia.  Most don't remember that just a few days before, Chaminade handled the University of Hawaii 56-47.  So at least they had a decent team.  No doubt this miracle convinced ESPN to host the best college basketball tournament in the world on Maui from 1984.  Wow, that's almost thirty years now.  Actually, this might not have been so smart, for Chaminade has won all of one game in that almost thirty year period.  Mind you, this is after nearly a hundred games.  Why?  The other teams this year are:  Illinois, University Southern California, Texas, North Carolina, Mississippi State, Marquette and Butler.

But back to the University of Hawaii women's team, the Judith and Holofernes (female equivalent of David and Goliath) factor is maybe greater than the Virginia Christmas present.  In addition to 6'8" Griner, Baylor's two other centers are 6'5" and 6'4".  Hawaii's tallest is Pua Kailiawa at 6'2", who doesn't play much.  Will I go way out on the limb and predict an upset?  No, two miracles are too much to expect.  But if the Rainbow Wahine can leverage their experience, I would not be surprised if they make a game out of the potential second blow-out with Stanford.


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